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thanks for watching. martin bashir will be back on monday. chris matthews picks things up right now. wedding of the year, republicans and the nra. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. i hope you're having a meaningful good friday and will have a bright and glorious easter sunday. now, get this. the republican party says that marriage consists of one man marrying one woman. how do you explain, or we explain what just happened? five of its men, ted cruz, rand paul, mike lee, marco rubio and jim inhofe just married wayne lapierre.
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in sickness and in health, until death do us part. not even that. these five buckaroos won't let the senate vote on a gun safety measures, not even one dealing with better background checks. the hardliners calls it surveillance and want none of it. this is one area where they believe in the right of privacy, darn it, believe in the government's right to fknow what's going on inside a woman's body, of course, but don't ask if some gun buyer is a nut, a criminal or wife beater. that's his affair and don't forget it. ron reagan, radio talk show host. kn nia malika henderson for the woe "washington post." the president made clear many reasons gun control legislation deserved a vote, a vote, not even a vote, just a vote. >> deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote.
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the families of oak creek and tucson and blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. >> well, in a letter to senate majority leader harry reid, five republican senators disagreed. they write, "we the undersigned sfwe intend to oppose any legislation that would fringe on american people's constitutional rights to bear arms or exercise this right without being suggested to government surveillance. we'll oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions." a filibuster declared. ron reagan, they're not going to fight this thing but make sure nobody gets to vote on background checks. they consider it a privacy matter, apparently. >> there are a couple things going on here. on the political side, of course, and the least important side, you have marco rubio, rand paul, and ted cruz, three of the
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five musketeers here, who are really grandstanding and looking ahead to 2016. and these three guys are going to be elbowing their way into each other's limelight for the next three years. so you might as well get used to that. but the more important thing that's going on here has to do with democracy, and how we proceed in this country in a democratic fashion. you've got about nearly 90% of the country that would like at the very least there to be universal background checks on firearm purchases. nearly 90%. that's as close to unanimity as you get in the united states of america, and yet these five individuals have decided that the senate will not even be allowed to vote on something like universal background checks. i don't know how good that's going to stay, and what kind of stead that's going to stand politically going forward, because it seems to me that there's going to be a backlash against this kind of obstructionism, obvious obstructionism, but we will see. >> you know, nia, i just have to go back to rationality.
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i always assume rationality in politics. what are they thinking? >> well, they're thinking that if you look at the gop senators in -- it looks like 40 of them have an "a" or a-plus rating with the nra. they only need one extra vote to sustain a filibuster. they're looking at the reality that somebody like max baucus, who's a democrat, probably wouldn't support this legislation. i think that's what they're looking at. they're also looking at a house of probably wouldn't even bring this to the floor. i talked to some pretty high-level house aides -- >> wasn't boehner clapping there for most of the president's rift there? i was watching it. ron, and nia, i was watching boehner. he was clapping through half of that they deserve a vote, then start to listen to it and sat down. i don't know. >> well, he said, you know, they'll take a look at it. and that doesn't sound like he would bring something to the floor. of course, it would be his decision and cantor's decision. it would have to possibly go through some committees.
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>> why don't they want a vote? if you're a gun toting nra member, wouldn't you want to get out there with great pride and brio vote against gun control and screw all the other guys by making them vote for it, nail them in their districts? why wouldn't they want to vote? wouldn't they want to be proudly pro gun and make the other guys unproudly anti-gun? wouldn't they want the vote? i don't get this part. >> you would think so, but we do get back to that nearly 90% of the american public wants universal background checks. they can read those polls. they know that. it's more complicated than that. there are people on the democratic side who also are nervous about having to vote for any kind of gun legislation. look at a joe manchin, say, in virginia. harry reid is nervous, about half a dozen or so of his member, seven members or so -- >> if they vote against cloture, if they vote -- this is how it's s
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asymmetric. if you're a conservative, you're protected from voting maybe too far right. if you're a moderate democrat worried about your red state constituency, you're protected by this. this is good for you, right? >> no, i think, yeah -- >> you can't vote for it. the irony is you can't vote for the right wing filibuster position. >> right. you can't vote for that. you might be able to vote for universal background checks. you probably vote against any amendments involving assault weapons ban. i think the problem is we haven't heard any new voice from any of these discussions. you haven't had a rubio-like figure who is a sort of gateway to the right in terms of immigration. you haven't had that figure around this debate. so it's been very hard for democrats. not only to keep their caucus together, but to get anyone on the republican side, the party of this. >> okay. i think the president's a winner here. he has -- i was mildly chastising him last night for welcoming back to the fight, because he really turned it over to biden and bloomberg.
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but he is back in the fight now. isn't this good for him to have, oh, look, i just want a vote. let's hear him back again. he got back into the fight on gun restrictions in a big way surrounded by family members of shooting victims yesterday. it was very dramatic. let's watch the president yesterday. >> less than 100 days ago that happened. and the entire country was shocked. and the entire country pledged we would do something about it and this time would be different. shame on us if we've forgotten. i haven't forgotten those kids. shame on us if we've forgotten. >> how can republicans on the right even deal with that, nia, going down the road? if the president's for a vote and they're against even a vote after newtown? how do they win that way? >> well, you know, i think the president wins no matter what. even if this goes down, i mean, he has given some of the most
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compelling speeches of his presidency around this issue, but, again, the reality for republicans is very different in their states. they see this through a very different lens. he hasn't been able to play the inside game with democrats or republicans around this issue. he's been very good -- >> nia, you're right except florida is a normal state. it adds up to a normal state. it's not texas. it's florida. it's a very interesting state where you can easily live there, and it's all kinds of different people. it's not a bunch of right wing gun toting nuts. doesn't have a gun toting history. why would you want to be rubio, being a guy who refuses and has to go out on a campaign stump and talk to regular people and tell them, i don't want the senate to even vote on this gun issue? that we must protect our gun owners? what kind of position is that to run for president? that's wacky. >> i think rubio can't -- rubio can't decide if he's going to be a moderate guy or tea party guy. he's following behind paul in every instance. this instance paul was out
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first. you saw rubio sign on later with the drones. it was the same thing. he voted against the violence against women act. he can't really seem to make up his mind whether or not he's going to be an establishment republican or more like a rand paul. >> ron, suppose you're hillary clinton, hillary clinton is on the debating platform or any of the democrats and on the other side of the platform is marco rubio who supports a filibuster against any kind of gun safety. how can you not smash him across the face with this? how can you let him still be standing two minutes later? >> the republicans will be in the same bind they were last time. they'll win primaries but they'll lose the national election. again, 90% of the public is for universal background checks. how good are you going to look in a national primary if you're the guy filibustering national universal background checks here? these three guys, in particular cruz, rand paul, and rubio, are competing against one another to be the young fire brand, young turk of the conservative wing of the republican party. they're all trying to out-conservative one another. >> let's talk about -- i have to go to ron on this because i
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really like ron, obviously, and your family, and i'm thinking back on, what, all those years ago, 1981. and i'm thinking that guy, henkly, was obviously emotionally disturbed, still at st. elizabeth's because of good reason. i think he's out once in a while to see a movie. he's basically under protective situation there. he's a classic example of someone who should have never had a gun in his hand. he had a pistol, .22. >> .25 caliber. saturday night special. >> it was a pistol, revolver. it wasn't a semiautomatic. if he had a weapon, however, of the kind we're talking about here now, it would have been a far different situation. i mean, jerry parr, as courageous as he was, the great secret service guys up against a guy with a quick shooting gun, it would have been a different situation. why don't people think like this on right? >> they don't think like this because they're enthralled with the nra. as you said at the beginning of this segment, it's the republican party and the nra. the nra is not about sportsmen
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anymore. the nra is a $12 billion -- shilling for a $12 billion industry. bestselling gun in america is the al-15. that's what gun stores sell out of. they don't commit the most crimes with them. >> what do you do, shoot up car wrecks and canyons somewhere in l.a.? >> you run around in the woods acting out your red dawn fantasy. imagining you're fighting the black helicopters and the blue helmeted -- that's what these people do. >> that's a hell of a lot of people, ron. nia, last thought. >> i think what you're going to see out of the republicans, you might see them put forward gun legislation, too. that's been the talk out of grassley's office. it might address issues around mental health. it probably won't be a background check bill and certainly won't involve anything with assault weapons. they want to some ways be on the record, too, possibly supporting something. maybe there is some hope with that. >> they don't like surveillance. find out if somebody's crazy or not might be intruding on their
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privacy. happy easter, ron, to you and your mom. she might be watching tonight. >> happy easter. >> nia-malika henderson. happy christmas to you. how about happy easter? that would be better. coming up, why republicans are having a tough time courting groups they lost in last year's election. congressman don young of alaska just referred to immigrant workers as wetbacks. thank you, sir. here's another reason a member of the republican national committee posted an article on facebook saying gays live a filthy lifestyle. that was his word. hey, republicans, you're not going to win new friends by calling them names. big surprise. it also doesn't help when you try to stop democrats from voting. a lot of them minorities. we saw how that worked in 2012, or didn't work. republicans in north carolina right now pushing bills to restrict early voting and sunday voting when a lot of blacks vote at the polls in that tradition. anything they can to focus on the other side and keep them from being allowed to exercise their democratic rights.
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also, one of the reasons behind the surge in support for same-sex marriage is the dramatic shift among this last group, resistant to the idea, african-americans. they've been shifting on issues. there's been a 35 point net swing toward supporting same sex in three years. the right wing cheering section over at fox is upset sequestration has ended white house tours and figured out how to fund them again. end sex education. would you have made that connection? what regular person would have said, let's have less sex education to pay for the white house tours. they are really flipping out on this one. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪
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sarah palin made clear how she feels about political consultants in the web video she released this week. >> don't let the big consultants, the big money men and the big, bad media scare you off. when somebody's going to hold republicans in congress accountable, it's going to be sarah palin. th
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>> they talk about re-branding the gop instead of restoring the trust of the american people. how about rebuilding the middle class? >> yep. palin sure stuck it to those evil consultants in that ad, but the "daily beast" looked at the figures compiled by the center for responsive politics. guess what they found? palin spent $4.8 million this last election on consultants. consultants. the one she's dumping on. i suspect those consultants are more than happy to hear palin knock them as long as she keeps pays them. in fact, what do you want to bet it was a consultant who told her to make that video? what do you think? let's go. from the crack, off the backboard. [ laughs ] dad! [ laughs ] whoo! oh! you're up! oh! oh! so close! now where were we? ok, this one's good for two. score! [ male announcer ] share what you love with who you love.
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welcome back to "hardball." more than one republican has recently suggested it's time for the gop to stop being the stupid party. well, less than two weeks after the party's autopsy conceded they need to reach out to women, gays, and minorities, a republican member of the united states congress violated the new don't be stupid rule using a racial slur in a video
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interview. longtime alaska congressman don young used a derogatory term, wetbacks, to refer to immigrants who worked on his family ranch. >> my father had a ranch. we used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks, and pick tomatoes. you know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. it's all done by machine. >> tell by the way he said that with such delight, he didn't know it was a bad word, but it is. in a statement released overnight the 79-year-old congressman tried to explain lims. he said in part "i used a term that was commonly used in my days growing up on a farm in central california. i know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays. i meant no respect." i don't think he called people who were that that. just guessing. anyway, after tough statements today including one from john boehner, the speaker, reince priebus, young issued a full apology saying "i apologize for the insensitive term i used
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during an interview in ketchikan, alaska. there was no malice in my heart or intent to offend. that word and the negative attitudes that come with it should be left in the 20th century. ""all the way up to 1999. "i'm sorry this shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform." i'm not sure how the rnc reboot is supposed to go. not this way. david corn is washington bureau chief for "mother jones." raul reyes writes for nbc latino. raul, i don't know what to make of this, except i'll just say in very modest defense of this guy, he doesn't know what he's doing. he's a bit older and using a term which obviously you never called somebody a wetback to their face. >> we hope not. >> it was a term used by owners about the people working on their ranch. but he obviously didn't ever talk to any of the help. he just talked about them. apparently. your thoughts? >> right, well, you know, the thing that really struck me, he did by the end of the day issue the full apology, but it shouldn't take a whole day
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before this happens. and even when he says, let's leave this word in the last century, to be honest, that's a word that didn't have a place in the last century, either, because it is so offenseive to hispanics, to immigrants and it's something that really deeply offends latinos. i can tell you, there's very few times where i feel comfortable speaking for the whole community, so to speak, but this is one of them. this is something that is a huge turnoff to latinos and it's exactly, obviously, exactly what the republican party does not need right now when they're trying to re-brand themselves. >> let's take while you're on leer, and i'll get all purposes, david corn. it seems to me it is generation generational. i was looking at a new poll this week, today i was studying, that showed among peep undople under the millennials, they are really diverse conscious. they don't have, for instance, in the backroom when people are listening, over a beer, it's much more a natural thing to be
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positive about other groups, don't you notice? or what do you think? >> absolutely. the interesting thing, also, you know, younger people, they don't see the color like the older generation does. but also, you know, the sensitivity is better. it's higher because they live in a different society. they live in a changing united states. and that's what the republicans are very slow to adapt to. >> do you think it's better, do you think kids who are not latino who are angelo, not everybody is an anglo, north americans, whatever you want to call them, do you think they are more sensitive just by company, just by keeping company? in other words, diverse rooms, diverse communities, diverse classrooms, diverse whatever, does, in fact, make people better in terms of relationships? >> yeah. oh, yes. correct. because, you know, when you're interacting with people on a daily basis obviously you don't have divide. it's also when you have personal relationships, you see that --
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we have more in common than we have different among us. >> you're so smart. you're so smart. >> this makes me think -- >> you are. i'm not being condescending. that's the key thing. we have more in common than we know. >> that's a good question. i keep thinking the republican party still is stuck in 19 -- >> if there's nobody in the room, a latino name or back groun background, nobody is going to raise their hand and say, don't say that. >> they're stuck in 1950s. congressman don young saying that was a term -- >> as recently as 1999. >> that's a big problem they have with the attitudes toward women and the changing demographics. the other thing is because -- >> the pill between the knees, that one? >> all that stuff. they gerrymandered their districts so that their districts, themselves -- >> are claustrophobic. >> they're white, they have the same sentiment, and they're people who also want to go back to 1950. so it's easy to see a lot of these guys say, well, you know, no one back home would be mad at me for saying this word because -- they have done this to themselves. they have ghettoized themselves.
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>> we're going to have a country, by the way, that's going to be like they say about the west bank, raul, like swiss cheese. there's going to be different communities clustered around their own thinking. look at michigan today where republican national committeeman is rejecting calls for his resignation. posted an offensive article on his facebook page wednesday called "everyone should know these statistics on homosexuals which include part of the agenda is to get the public to affirm their filthy lifestyle. this is a guy representing the whole state. homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities. that second point there which is so ludicrous, i don't know what the murder rate is among gay people. i bet it is slightly lower than the straight. the idea that half the murders, given the number of about 6% of the population, that they kill half the people is so ludicrous that even the biggest -- in the world probably don't want to think about this. your thought about this.
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this is really weird. >> i don't think on this that the republicans we hear a lot about their messaging problem. i think part of their messaging problem in this instance, and also up in alaska, is they are very slow to realize that they make these comments on an obscure radio station, or they post something on their facebook, and the next day or that day, it's all over the word. they just don't recognize the power of social media and what they say even off the cuff goes everywhere. it just seems like these things keep happening again and again and they keep putting their foot in their mouth. >> by the way, if you say something, you're guaranteed to get national play. >> of course. >> you're not going to hide something like this. 47% -- >> this is a party, to be not so charitable, a good part of their appeal is toward people who if they don't hate, they have very negative feelings about gay people, about undocumented workers, you know, maybe about black people. and, you know, and so it only takes a couple of them to sort of say stupid things like this and it taints the whole party,
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but then again, if you look back at the primaries, they are kowtowing and catering to that particular -- >> i think you're right. because the people they're targeting hear the message, too. there's no secret negatives out there anymore. you know, it gets out. anyway, truth will win out this weekend. thank you, all it. raul reyes, thank you, nbc latino, and of course, david corn who can speak with authority on any liberal subject. up next, it's one thing when a progressive points out republican hypocrisy, but it's something else when the critique comes from a fellow republican. this is coming up right now on the place for politics, "hardball."
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at constantcontact.com/try. the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. ha! back to "hardball." now to the big sideshow tonight. first, republicans have argued that the cancelation of those white house tours is an obama gimmick that has nothing to do with sequester. so this a.m., fox news weighed
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in with a solution. >> the federal government spending apparently $350 million for planned parenthood-style sex education programs in western states including montana, idaho, oregon, alaska, for sex education programs starting now in kindergarten. >> remember the sequester was all about, it's going to end everything, we're going to have to close the white house tours, going to have to close small airport towers and things like that. so they did that and a whole other list of thing, yet they're able to find $350 million for this program. >> you know how long that would keep the white house tours going? >> 20 years? >> 100 years. >> no way. >> 100 years the white house could be open for as long as us and our grandchildren would be around. >> was this really a zero-sum situation? do you really have to choose between sex ed out in the country and white house closing its doors? i don't think so. next, former republican senator alan simpson, love this guy, says his party needs to stop letting the religious right rule the party positioned on issues like abortion rights and gay marriage. here's what he said to the "l.a.
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times." "you're a republican, you believe in get out of my life and the precious right to privacy, the right to be left alone. well then, pal, i don't care what you do. you can go worship the great eel at night, but don't mess with me and take a position i have and wrap religion around it." remember when rick perry said this about the possibility of texas seceding from the union? >> texas is unique. when we came in the union in 1845, one of the issues is we would be able to leave if we decided to do that. we've got a great union. there's absolutely no reason to dissolve it, but if washington continues to thumb their nose at the american people, you know, who knows what may come out of that. >> governor perry eventually stopped with that secession talk but not everyone in the state backed off with him. check out the latest pitch from secession from a group called the texas nationalist movement. four guys in cowboy hats there
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separating the state, physically, from the continent and letting it float off into the gulf of mexico. they won't quit. up next, the reasons behind the stunning shift in support for gay marriage. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
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i'm craig melvin, here's what's happening right now. north korea, thousands marched through the main square in pyongyang, the mass demonstration was a show of support for kim jong-un who ordered the country's rockets on standby. former south african president nelson mandela remains in the hospital. he's said to be making steady progress. americans are still shopping despite higher gas prices and payroll taxes. spending was up .7% last month leading some economists to raise growth targets for the quarter. now back to "hardball."
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welcome back to h"hardball." no secret supreme court justices are apair of popular opinion when they start cases, the background music of this week's two gay marriage cases was at tuesday of the public on that. in 2009, not 100 years ago, 2009, only 32% of african-americans supported same-sex marriage, while a majority of african-americans, 53%, were opposed. by december of last year, 2012, the percentage supporting in that community supporting same-sex marriage jumped to a majority, 51%. the biggest jump in support for gay marriage was among blue collar workers of all ethnic groups. back in 2004, only 18% were in favor. now with 80% opposed back then, four out of five opposed. by december of 2012, there had been a spectacular shift in
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opinion. now 47% approved gay marriage. just 43% disapprove. joy reid is managing editor for the grio.com. brian sims is a pennsylvania state rep who's openly gay. thank you for joining us. i want to start with joy who's our expert here all the time. then you can be the new expert. congratulations on representing one of the more interesting parts of the city, we call center city. anyway, let's go with this, why do you think if you had to write a history paper on this, what would be your lead about why the black community shifted in favor of allowing people to marry somebody of the same gender? >> you know what, i wouldn't put it all on president obama. i think it is a matter of leadership. you do have public opinion leaders. >> he's been late. >> he was late to it, but so is the african-american community. remember, when prop 8 passed in 2008, it wasn't because of the african-american community as some said, but the black community was pretty solidly behind prop 8 in california. >> yeah. >> and even when president obama announced he shifted his position or evolved his position on gay marriage, there were a lot of churches and pastors who were not really sure they wanted to do it, but you've had a lot of opinion leaders in the black
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community coalesce behind the president, pastors who have a good esteem and good reputation, reverend al sharpton being one of them, and you started to see because opinion of people that folks respect is moving in that direction, that does have the power to move people. i think it has in this case. >> i want to stay on you for a minute. i want to be sensitive here, but in the black community, the sensitivity about gay marriage, is it related to the lower prevalence of marriage, itself? of straight marriage? the people are living together, not really formalizing it in church or anywhere. what is the sensitive -- what had been the sensitivity? is it just religious-based or is it situational? people realize we've got to encourage straight marriage and this somehow threatens it? or what was it? is there any particular cause there is? why it was so conservative? >> it's the evangelical tradition. within the black church which is very conservative on a lot of issues, the evangelical tradition is the same as it is among white evangelicals. it is a biblical belief that homosexuality is wrong and follows that -- >> why change? >> honestly i think the --
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>> the bible is still the same. >> yeah. i think what you're seeing is people -- first of all, i believe very strongly that throughout, whether it's for black folks or anyone else, the fact of more people being openly gay has sort of opened a lot of minds to the fact, hey, you do know one who's gay and the prox im imsy of having it be someone you know. the fact you don't have as many people who are closeted. there have been shocks in the black community of people who have been outed or outed themselves through conduct. people are starting to realize there are more gay folks in their circle than they thought before, and when you know that, it's harder to say, i don't think that this person i know should be able to get married. >> now, brian, i understand your district includes downtown, some of the wealthier crowds, certainly places i'd love to live like rittenhouse square and society hill. fairmount. that's your area, right? >> those are some of the places, chris, in the city i'd like to live, too. >> okay. where's your district? i'm trying to figure out your community you represent. being openly gay. >> you hit it dead-on.
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we're looking at center city, philadelphia. pretty much the core of the city except for chinatown and the convention center. so everything from rittenhouse square out to the art museum including grays ferry, really the core of center city, philadelphia. >> what's it called? gayberhood. >> gayberhood between chinatown and the american market. >> my daughter-in-law and son live there, by the way. they're straight, obviously. >> let me go to the question, was it a plus or minus for you running for office being openly gay? times have changed. that's a reasonable question. >> i think it was a plus. i worked very closely with the victory fund, the national gay and lesbian victory fund to really help me talk about how i wanted to address being an openly gay man when i was running. there are a couple simple truths when it comes to elections and one of them is people appreciate authenticity. they may not understand everything you fight for, but people appreciate when you stand up tand speak up for your
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community. honesty. 0 100%. >> did you have doubts when you got into running for office whether that was the right course politically? was that the smart move or just the right move? >> it was the right move. pennsylvania was the second largest state in the country who never elected an openly lgbt state legislator. we've known for years that really electing out legislators is the key to passing equality legislation. you know this about pennsylvania. chris, pennsylvania has no statewide lgbt civil rights. >> yeah. well, work on it. >> working on it. >> works on it. i'm glad to have you on. that's why i wanted you on. let me go back to joy and this whole question of change. and you're young. you know why, because the battle lines in so many other issues, whether abortion rights, or a war, they seem to stay where they are. they're always sort of in the 40-yard lines, using football teams. it always seems to be on abortion rights, somewhere it's close, it's pro choice, but it's somewhere near this battle line. the battle lines shifted so dramatically in just 20 years.
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do you think it was -- you said, let's get to the facts here. people coming out, right? >> yeah, it's been breathtakingly quick. my kids who are young teenagers or teenagers, you know, they don't think that being gay is that, you know, remarkable. they don't think -- when i was a teenager, it's something that you didn't know anybody in your community who's gay because no one would admit it. the late harvey milk, if you remember the dramatic scene in the movie "milk" where he says to his leagues, you have to come out, come out to your families, you have to talk about it. i think openness, itself, has caused people to be more comfortable that gay people aren't aliens from another planet. >> "modern family." >> "modern family." even the "fab 5" the bravo show where people could look at gay people and not be afraid of them. remember when teachers who were gay were pushed out of schools because people thought they didn't know anyone who was gay. i have people i went to high school with i had no idea they were ggay until ten years ago. no one would ever admit it.
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>> so true. >> the fact people being out and open made it hard for us not to all be rob portman. when you know someone who's gay, when your kid's teacher is gay, when your neighbor is gay and know it, you can't say, i want to see that person discriminated against. >> who were your role modes in being courageous in running for office as an openly gay man? i think of the movie in philadelphia, tom hanks playing a man who was hiv infected and think of sean penn playing harvey milk. this is a big positive development i think. your thoughts? >> you know, there's no question that harvey milk was an obvious role model in doing this. you know, i actually represented a good chunk of benjamin frankl franklin's legislative district. one of the things we learned from ben franklin, which is as old as politics in this country, is that if you work toward a common goal, if you're able to bring people together and fight for those things we all agree on, people are going to do a much better job of listening to you on the things we disagree on, and joy and chris, you've
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touched on this in just a moment ago about coming out. you know, we have seen more people come out of the closet in the last 25 years, the last 20 years, than perhaps we did in the last 100 years, and what's happened as a result is this lgbt civil rights movement, you know, has gained in last 25 years. what took about 66 665 years f civil rights movements. now what happens every single day people see lgbt people around them in their family, their workplace. every morning they bring ellen degeneres and tom roberts into their household. that's the people, chris, we're talking about here. we're talking about seniors, southerners. we're talking about working class people seeing lgbt people around them every day. >> you know what i like about you, brian, you're obviously a great local representative. i like the fact you talk at the right speed. my speed. >> you know what, i know that you, like me, can cram about two minutes worth of information into a minute. >> as rightly we do.
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happy easter to you. happy easter to you, joy reid. thank you as always for coming on the program. >> thank you, chris. up next, there they go again. republicans in north carolina writing legislation trying to make it harder for democrats, especially minorities, to even register, even show up to vote. this is crazy. they keep doing it. we keep talking about it and they keep doing it. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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president obama wants to put americans back to work, as you saw there, and he's pushing rebuilding our roads, bridges, tunnels and airports as a way to do it. >> let's rebuild this country we love. let's make sure we're staying on the cutting edge. let's make sure we've always got the best ports. let's make sure we've got the best airports. let's make sure we got the best rail lines. let's make sure we've got the best roads. let's make sure we've got the best schools. we're going to push on this issue each and every day, and make sure we get the middle class going again. >> more, mr. president. more. do more of that. that was the president down in miami today. anyway, "new york times" columnist paul krugman wants to see the country invest in itself, too. krugman says it's not the deficit creating future generations but rather lack of investment in ways that make this country great. the lack of investment. we'll be right back. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive?
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[ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. we should follow the example of a north miami woman named desaline victor. when desaline arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her. because desaline is 102 years old, and they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, "i voted." >> wow. we're back. a state of the union this year, the president promised to do something about a voting system that forces some people to wait in line for hours just to cast their vote.
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it's a problem disproportionately affects african-americans we know now according to a recent m.i.t. study waited an average of additional seven minutes more than whites do to cast a vote. in some cases those waits are much, much longer. in florida, whites to vote. in florida, the saturday before the election, people waited up to seven hours there. the president will follow through on his promise to follow through to do something about it. he fights to improve access and there are still republicans out there trying to make it more difficult to vote and that's exactly what is happening in north carolina where two bills are working their way through the legislature that would cut back on early voting. will they get away with it? jeanette brown is with the advancement project and michael waldman. i want to lay back here and learn and i think judith -- in the last election sue cycle, we talked about dozens of states,
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sunday closings. we find out that north kir line na is doing exactly what we pinpointed as a particular problem, screwing black voters out of a habit that they have. they find out that black voters like to vote on the sunday after church. why are they doing that? >> the politics of north carolina has changed. you have the republican control of the governor's house and so the equation has changed and so now partisan efforts get to change the way people vote to make it harder for those that they don't want to vote. so we know -- >> so you get it through? >> that's right. early voting they will cut back. they are also trying to eliminate same-day registration, more than 250,000 people registered through same-day registration in 2008 and we know that the margin of victory was over -- a little over 17,000. >> so people that hadn't voted in a while because you keep your registration if you vote? >> right. exactly. so it actually helps with people who move. you can go register again and it's the easy thing to do.
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>> one of the republicans' sponsored bills want to cut the voting period by a week and another bill goes further by outlawing voting on sunday. this would hurt african-americans. anyway, 70% of african-american voters cast an early ballot. that's a great a statistic. 70% of black voters vote before election day. among all voters, that figure was just 56%, although that's growing. when it comes to sunday voting, many african-american churches take place part in early voting. we're learning a lot here. michael, your thought and your study of this. i think it's great that you're doing this. >> what a coincidence that this happens to be a day that gets cut off in early voting, right? there was a real effort in the last election, 19 states passed 25 separate laws to make it
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harder for people to vote. most of those worst laws were blocked by the courts or by the justice department and it was a real backlash. now you're starting to see something of a split personality, an internal debate among republicans pushing this. in florida, governor scott who had pushed basically the same exact ideas is now doing backflips to say how much he supports early voting. >> why? >> because they believe and -- >> he's fighting for his life down there. >> exactly. >> they tested it in florida. he's got to do something. >> republicans got caught in those lines. republicans are upset because they went out to early vote and they say why did you stand against it? what is important in florida is they are not trying to get back all of the early voting days. >> are you saying that some of the republicans were in line, too? they were held up? >> yes, they were in line, too. >> that's the thing. these early voting issues really ought not be partisan and in the past they used to not be partisan. it's not supposedly something that favored one party or
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another and that -- and it shouldn't matter what party you're in and shouldn't matter what state you're in. that's why whatever happens with this presidential commission which is just going to be making recommendations to local and state officials, there's really no substitute, i think, for a minimal standard for early voting registration and things like that. >> let's get back to what is sneaky and looks sneaky. i'm not a baseball expert but every time they start playing around with the strike zone, too many home runs, not enough runs, they adjust it. should we be suspicious of any voting law that changes? >> yes. they don't have any really good reasons. there's no compelling reason for this. at the end of the day, the american public wants it to be easy to vote. republicans time after time line up to make it harder to vote. in virginia, governor mcdonnell, you know, ready to sign off on a voter i.d. law that makes it harder to vote. so, yes, the closer they get to
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perhaps winning, they want to take it away. >> last word, mike. >> i would say there's a good record that when this country, which it has over time, has expanded the ability to vote, has made it easier to vote, we've never regretted it. it hasn't led to problems. it's only led to a stronger kous country. but it should be done carefully and in a way with both parties cutting back it smells bad. it really does. >> okay being mike, i think i'll be seeing you at my house. thank you for joining us. mike waldman, second career after being a speechwriter for president clinton. judith, thank you so much. happy easter to both of you. we'll be right back. you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. with a deadline. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price.
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let me finish tonight with this. the nasty tricks keep coming, don't they? i'd like to think that we at "hardball" spotlight a problem that may stop. well, when it comes to republicans messing with voting laws, that's been a case of hope tramping over instinct. the instinct is to sit around in state capitols thinking of ways to win statewide elections by getting the urban vote. you get the idea. they get the idea. the community gets the idea. we end up all on the same page. in reince priebus doesn't like this stuff, why doesn't he stop it? he doesn't like people using bad words. we saw that today. why does he put up with people trying to deny their right to

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Hardball With Chris Matthews
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